Grand March: A Historic House through a Ballroom Lens
From December 2, 2023, the Amsterdam Museum presents the exhibition Grand March: A Historic House through a Ballroom Lens. The exhibition is co-curated by House of Vineyard, the first ballroom house in the Netherlands. In the rooms of the Willet-Holthuysen House, an Amsterdam Museum location, House of Vineyard exposes the power of ballroom culture with radical fashion interventions and art installations.
House of Vineyard
The trailblazers of the Dutch scene, House of Vineyard explores the power of ballroom, where themes like resistance, building community, and self-expression play a significant role. For the exhibition Grand March: A Historic House through a Ballroom Lens, the ballroom house, House of Vineyard, guides the visitor through the historic spaces of the Willet-Holthuysen House from a contemporary ballroom perspective. They do this by augmenting the spaces inside the Amsterdam mansion with installations comprising fashion, jewelry, photography, and visual arts.
Ballroom was created for and by Black and Latinx-American trans women and queer people in the 1970s in Harlem, in New York City. Organizers opposed the established, often racist pageants by holding balls for, with, and by LGBTIQ+ people of color. During a ball, queer, trans, and cis participants compete in various categories, including fashion, realness, body, and performance, and winning trophies, cash prizes, and respect. The balls are lively underground events, a manifestation of resistance to the predominance of cisnormative society. Ever since the emergence of these balls, ballroom has remained a flourishing subculture. Many people active in the ballroom scene are members of a “house.” Houses represent a group of people who have chosen each other as “family,” providing a safe home where there is space for every individual.
About House of Vineyard
The dynamic, internationally recognized House of Vineyard was established in 2014 by Amber Vineyard. Today, House of Vineyard is more than a group that organizes or participates in balls: it is a powerful movement that introduced ballroom culture in the Netherlands and continues to enrich it. Besides its major contribution to balls worldwide, House of Vineyard also organizes the Pussy Wagon Stage at the annual Milkshake Festival and voguing workshops in the Melkweg. In addition, House of Vineyard’s involvement each year during Amsterdam Pride is unmistakable. Through these activities, its members share their knowledge and values regarding the ballroom scene. This is the first exhibition co-curated by House of Vineyard as a collective.
About the Willet-Holthuysen House
The exhibition is on view at the stately Willet-Holthuysen House, part of the Amsterdam Museum, on the Herengracht in Amsterdam. This double mansion is comprised of several period rooms, including a 19th-century ballroom and a French-style symmetrical garden, and is home to numerous impressive historical objects. Programming at the Willet-Holthuysen House includes exhibitions which illuminate the former residence and its past from different perspectives.
Dates and times
|Monday 11 December||10:00 - 17:00|
|Tuesday 12 December||10:00 - 17:00|
|Wednesday 13 December||10:00 - 17:00|
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